Several alternative treatments exist for treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Your doctor will usually start with the most conservative, or most cautious and safe treatment. If your symptoms are not relieved with conservative treatment, surgery is usually recommended.
Conservative treatment includes:
• Activity changes
• Anti-inflammatory medication
• Wearing a splint for a period of time
• Steroid shots given directly to the area surrounding the nerve.
Conservative treatment is usually tried for 8-12 weeks. However, if there is significant loss of muscle to the thumb or significant median nerve damage, surgery might be suggested sooner.
If you do have questions about any of these alternatives, you should discuss them with your doctor and decide which one, if any, is appropriate for you.